May 11, 2011
President Jacob Zuma today distanced the ruling party from ANCYL leader Julius Malema’s private views on land distribution.
Zuma was responding to concerns raised by the Greytown farming community over comments made by Malema late last year that land earmarked for redistribution could be taken away without payment if they did not accept the money offered for it.
“What Malema said is neither the ANC’s nor the government’s policy, Zuma said yesterday while on the election campaign trail in impoverished Msinga, in the Greytown area of the KwaZulu-Natal Midlands.
‘’Policies are not for individuals but are discussed. The ANCYL cannot determine policies.
People can have ideas and those ideas discussed in the ANC. There were many Malemas before but issues were discussed within the organisation and policies formulated,’’ Zuma said.
“You will be surprised that one day Malema will be stopping others from raising what he had raised before. Malema is on a learning curve and the farming community must not be shaken by his comments. What he says are simply his views.”
Zuma went on to say that the ANC was older than its outspoken youth leader.
“There was a similar concern when the ANCYL had an idea about the nationalisation of mines.
We allowed that to be discussed and debated in the ANC because it had been previously debated many decades before when Nelson Mandela came out of prison. The nationalisation of mines also discussed and we came [up] with a mixed economy policy. The ANC does not take policy [decisions] emotionally”.
Earlier, Michael Yeadon, a community leader who represents farmers in the Greytown area, told Zuma, that Malema was a “very scary man” within the community.
“As a faming community, we also want clean water, roads and schools so that that we will be able to feed the community of Greytown and be able create job opportunities. Also, we want the ANC to be more accessible to us so that we can work together and be able to deliver to the community. We want the assurance from the president that we will be protected [against Malema]”.
After assuring farmers that their land would not be taken from them, Zuma urged farmers, the business community and local traditional leaders to vote for the ANC in next Wednesday’s local government elections because “it is the only party that has the clear understanding of the needs of the people”.
He said there have been calls that people must vote for other parties to create a strong opposition but he believed that good policies were more important than the size of political parties.
“We understand the people and their challenges in the ANC that is why we came out with five priorities,” he said.
Zuma said education was the priority for the ANC as there’s a need for skills in the country.
“Without education, we will remain a developing state”.
He also challenged business people to play their part in prioritizing the national priority of job creation.
Greytown and Msinga have been under the control of the IFP since the first local government elections in 1996. Development in the area has been almost non-exsistent. There is very little infrastructure in the area, which has massive unemployment, and tens of thousands of people after forced to live in extremely harsh conditions, including no access to proper housing, running water, tarred roads and electricity.
At Nhlalakahle, also in the Msinga area, Zuma yesterday used the metaphor of love relationships to talk the community into voting.
“Boyfriends and girlfriends should make their appointments on the voting stations on May 18.
Girlfriends should make sure that their boyfriends vote for the ANC and boyfriends should ensure that their girlfriends vote for the ANC. People should not continue to vote for parties that have no capacity and would not deliver to their needs,” he said.
At Pomeroy he promised that after the community “voted for the ANC” next week, they will see actual delivery.